Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Way We Were

I woke up this morning and said, “Today’s the day. The day I write my memoir.”

Sounds easy but the truth is that I don’t remember much. I remember the song…Memories. Maybe that wasn’t the title but I can sing you the first line. Or maybe not. Memories, light the something something something. That’s all I remember. Oh, and Streisand sang it, I remember that. And she couldn’t or wouldn’t spell Barbara the right way.

That nice young lady who comes to see me sometimes, she can sing the song. I think she’s related to me but I’m not really sure. She looks a lot like me. Like a family resemblance. She told me who she is but then I forget right after she tells me.

Just thought of a joke. That doesn’t happen often. I say, “I think I lost my brafour and you say. ‘What’s a bra for?’ Get it. Funny. Ha, ha. Not sure why I remember that one.

Maybe the young lady will help me with my memoir. I could get her to write the things down so that someone will read it some day and they will know who I was, that I had a life, that I did things and went places. Like that. I hope I remember to ask her when she comes today or tomorrow. Or whenever she comes back.

I remember being outside and playing all day and when the cousins came and we would play hide and seek and games with a ball. I remember trying to show off and run faster and hide where no one could find me. Giant steps…that was some kind of game we played and you had to stand on the front porch. Something about a red light and a green light. Or you had to count to 20 and then go look for someone. I was better at hiding than looking.

We played until dark, until the fireflies came out and we chased them all over the yard. Sometimes we tried to trap them in a jar. And it had holes in the lid.

Where is that lady? Why isn’t she here today. When I’m not looking for her, then she shows up. When I need her to help me remember things, she’s not here.

The Way We Were….that’s it, that’s the song. That’s my life.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept and at BoomSpeak. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Time Shifters

There was a time when advertising reflected the nostalgia of our demographic and all was well in the kingdom of baby boomers. Maybe you’ve already noticed, but our nostalgia ain’t what it used to be. Someone has pushed up the timeline for what’s considered nostalgic and it’s going to be an adjustment for aging boomers.

You can still hear some soundtracks from our youth, whether it’s the Kinks hawking yogurt (All Day and All of the Night), the Ronettes’ Be My Baby standing up for erectile drugs, or Shake Your Booty (KC and the Sunshine Band) for Fidelity Investments. You gotta like the nerve of Burger King using Walk of Life (Dire Straits) to sell fast food. Or Google using Hall and Oates’ Maneater. Car Wash Blues for Delta Faucets? But for a real leap back in time, Nationwide used Love Is Strange (Mickey and Sylvia).

But if you listen closely, the music used to target a generation has shifted forward to sounds of the late 70s, 80s and 90s. And to another generation other than ours. Auto Trader is using the stars of the Dukes of Hazzard. Budweiser is using What I Like About You. Swiffer used Devo’s Whip It (Whip It Good). Cadillac used Stacey’s Mom (Fountains of Wayne) to sell Escalades….this is the one where the Dads in the school drop-off lane are either ogling the mom or the car, or both. The crazy pistachios ads have used many songs but went straight to new material when they utilized Psy’s Gangman Style. But the prize for tapping the most current music scene for its commercials has to go to Volkswagon. From artists such as The Jesus and Mary Chain (Just Like Honey) and Wave Machine (Keep the Lights On), VW seems to have a knack for finding the newest songs to hook you into their message. And as a bonus, it must be cheaper to use not-yet-famous artists.

It was fun to hear the soundtrack of our youth when we watched a car commercial, but things change, and we might have to get used to being left out of the musical mix. Maybe the occasional adult diaper ad will hit a familiar note (the Beatles – Don’t Let Me Down?).

Looks like what we called nostalgia is soon going to be relegated to just plain old stuff for old people. And where’s the romance in that?

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept and at BoomSpeak. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.